The efficacy of Cognitive Behaviour Therapy (CBT) has been extensively researched and documented. CBT is based on the idea that how we think (cognition), how we feel (emotion) and how we act (behaviour) all interact together. Specifically, our thoughts determine our feelings and our behaviour. Therefore, negative and unrealistic thoughts can cause us distress and result in problems. When a person suffers with psychological distress, the way in which they interpret situations has a negative impact on the actions they take. CBT focuses on assisting people to develop an awareness of when they make negative interpretations, and of behavioural patterns which reinforce the distorted thinking. Strategies provide alternative ways of thinking and behaving which aims to reduce their psychological distress.
EMDR is a form of psychotherapy which uses forms of bilateral stimulation to assist clients in processing distressing memories and beliefs. It is commonly used for the treatment of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). EMDR has established efficacy in the treatment of PTSD as documented in several published studies (Korn, 2009). Findings from van der Kolk’s study on the treatment effects of EMDR compared to that of standard doses of Prozac or a placebo, as well as similar studies in the literature on Celexa, Paxil, Zoloft; demonstrate consistent outcomes (van der Kolk, 2014; Korn, 2009). Patients treated with EMDR noted substantial improvement, whereas symptomatology improved somewhat with continued use of medication. van der Kolk noted that improvements in symptoms continued to strengthen over time with EMDR as 60% of patients reported being “completely cured” eight months later (van der Kolk, 2014). Conclusions from these studies indicate pharmacological treatment of operational stress injuries alone is likely to be far more expensive and less effective than trauma therapy (van der Kolk, 2014).
The Developmental Needs Meeting Strategy (DNMS) is a strengths-based, ego-state therapy used to treat complex trauma wounds. The DNMS is based on the assumption that many presenting problems are due to wounded ego states stuck in childhood because of unmet developmental needs. While the DNMS is used most often to treat problems originating in childhood, it can resolve wounds inflicted in adult life as well (Schmidt, 2009).
Mindfulness is the psychological process of bringing one's attention to the internal and external experiences occurring in the present moment, through meditation. Studies have also shown that rumination and worry contribute to mental illnesses such as depression and anxiety, and that mindfulness-based interventions are effective in the reduction of both rumination and worry. Mindfulness can alleviate a variety of mental and physical conditions, such as bringing about reductions in depression symptoms, reducing stress, and anxiety. Recent studies demonstrate that mindfulness meditation significantly attenuates pain through multiple, unique mechanisms. It has gained worldwide popularity as a distinctive method to handle emotions.
Every day, people are continually exposed to a wide variety of potentially arousing stimuli. Inappropriate, extreme or unchecked emotional reactions could impede functional fit within society; therefore, people must engage in some form of emotion regulation almost all of the time. Emotional regulation is a complex process that involves initiating, inhibiting, or modulating one's state or behavior in a given situation – for example the subjective experience (feelings), cognitive responses (thoughts), emotion-related physiological responses (for example heart rate or hormonal activity), and emotion-related behavior (bodily actions or expressions).
Acceptance and commitment therapy (ACT) is a form of psychotherapy commonly described as a form of cognitive-behavior therapy or of clinical behavior analysis. It is an empirically-based psychological intervention that uses acceptance and mindfulness strategies mixed in different ways with commitment and behavior-change strategies, to increase psychological flexibility. The objective of ACT is not elimination of difficult feelings; rather, it is to be present with what life brings us and to "move toward valued behavior". Acceptance and commitment therapy invites people to open up to unpleasant feelings, and learn not to overreact to them, and not avoiding situations where they are invoked. Its therapeutic effect is a positive spiral where feeling better leads to a better understanding.
Scientific research and literature in the field of trauma are recognizing the dysregulation of affect and disruptions in mood and thought are driven by disturbances in the body’s bioenergetic field. Energy Psychology combines cognitive and physical interventions derived from acupuncture, yoga, and other ancient systems of healing to gently release traumatic events from the mind-body system, rebalancing the body.
Energy psychology is a family of integrative approaches to psychotherapy, coaching and healthcare treatment rooted in mind-body healing traditions that are up to 5,000 years old. These methods blend the bio-energetic insights of these traditions with the best of contemporary practice and is founded on the fact that as humans, we are natural healers. EP focuses on the eight different electro-magnetic energy systems that are integral to any living organism. The idea is that if the energy systems are blocked, scrambled or depolarized, emotional problems will result and healing will be blocked. Therefore, energy healing concerns itself with getting the energy systems flowing the right way.
Energy psychology is both evidence-based and in the top 10% in terms of research for psychotherapy modalities. There are over 80 peer-reviewed studies showing energy psychology’s effectiveness.
For a full and clear definition of energy psychology click the link below which takes you directly to the Association of Comprehensive Energy Psychology website: http://www.energypsych.org/?AboutEPv2
Sometimes called "acupressure for the emotions,” EFT (or "tapping”) is a highly focused energy psychology method that rapidly releases the emotional impact of stressful or traumatic life events from the body-mind system. As clients bring their attention to distressing memories and symptoms, practitioners walk them through a process of voicing specific statements while tapping on a series of acupuncture meridian points. This activation appears to reduce levels of stress while stimulating processing of previously stuck emotions and habit patterns.